Darkness At the Edge of Town

October 20, 2014
8 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

This summer I found myself being asked to come up with a lot of beer cocktails -- the summer of the beer cocktail, I guess -- including some for an event put on by Deschutes Brewery. I came up with this cocktail specifically for use with their Black Butte Porter, but I think it would work with many different porter-style beers. The beer is basically used here as sort of a stand-in for vermouth and bitters in a spin-off of a classic Negroni. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Fiveandspice knows a thing or two about cocktails -- she and her husband own a distillery in Minnesota!
WHAT: A beer cocktail that’s kind of like a shandy, kind of like a Negroni, and kind of crazy.
HOW: Stir equal parts gin (fiveandspice's distillery's gin is great, but you can also use Tanqueray) and Aperol with ice, strain into a glass, then top with porter and a squeeze of orange juice. Prepare to be amazed.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is a drink that left us scratching our heads. WHY do gin, Aperol, and porter beer go well together? With a couple more sips, we stopped being confused and surrendered to this strange, wonderful, and boozy combination. —The Editors

  • Makes 1 drink
  • 1 ounce gin -- a nice herbal one (I use Vikre Distillery Cedar)
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 4 ounces chilled porter-style beer
  • orange wedge
In This Recipe
  1. Stir the gin and Aperol with ice until chilled but not fully diluted (about 30 seconds, depending on the size of your ice cubes), strain into a glass, top with porter, and squeeze in the orange wedge.
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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.